The Verdict Is In (John 3:18)

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Perhaps you have seen the painting entitled “Waiting for the Verdict.” It depicts three people in a small room just outside a courtroom. A look of intense pain is etched on their faces. A man and a woman sit with clasped hands, bearing the agony of not knowing the outcome of their son’s case. The young man’s sister, frightened and tearful, stands peering through the half-opened door into the courtroom where her brother is on trial for a serious crime. Looking at the painting, you can almost feel the tension as they await the verdict.

Many people see themselves in a similar position in their relationship to God. They go through life anxiously awaiting the final decision, hoping that in the end they will be acquitted. That painting, however, is really not a picture of our relationship to the Divine Judge. You see, so far as man’s guilt is concerned, the verdict has already been passed. The Bible says, “He that believeth not is condemned already.” Therefore, unless we receive from Godthe forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”  (Ephesians 1:7), the sentence of death must be administered. No plea of a “good” life, a high moral character, or a religious affiliation can change that ruling. But there is hope. When sinners put their faith in the Lord Jesus, God credits to their account His perfect righteousness.

Yes, the verdict is in and we’re all guilty, but praise God, pardon is offered! To receive it, we must simply trust the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. – Paul R. Van Gorder

Was it for crimes that I have done

He groaned upon the tree?

Amazing pity! Grace unknown!

And love beyond degree! – Watts

If guilty sinners refuse God’s mercy now, they will receive His justice without mercy later.

  • March 18, 1984, Our Daily Bread
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